Blogging Doesn't Have to be Scary...

When it comes to blogging fear is the grey elephant in the room. Did I say the right thing? Will people be upset with me?

Yes, it can be scary but it doesn't have to be.

It is a real and substantial fear, especially when first starting out with no guidelines.

An example would be if you wrote something controversial or negative and there is a backlash. This is a major concern for bloggers, the fear of negative comments. Everyone has a fear of criticism. Just like giving a speech, people are afraid to speak up, or say what's on their mind, especially if working for someone else, you might say the wrong thing and get fired or worse yet sued.  

It's not a good enough excuse for you not to blog.

You have to be some sort of renegade in order to buy into blogging, willing to try new things with a certain amount of uncertainty.  

Another major concern would be time. Too much time blogging is spent on reading, writing and commenting. You might worry you haven't got anything to write about, the chief roadblock to blogging. Burnout is a real concern for bloggers and the number one reason why bloggers give up. To come up with something unique, everyday, sometimes two or three times a day could be daunting. If you've built a following keeping up the pace, meeting deadlines, being sharp, witty and incisive can turn into Burnout and become to much for the blogger, so he gives up. It's a lot of pressure.

You've possibly experienced this if you post regularly.  People seem to be sitting at their computer waiting for you to post. As soon as you've stopped posting for a day or a week, sometimes on the hour people start contacting you, worried, why haven't you blogged lately...

Another concern about blogging is it is too distracting.  Advertising Age did a survey.  In the United States workers are annually wasting what is 551,000 years reading blogs. That was back in 2005.  Hard to imagine what it's like today.  Another survey conducted in 2005 by calculated 35 million workers (1 in 4) read blogs, spending 3.5 hours a work week reading blogs. That's a lot of man hours.

The only consolation is, workers would spend that time reading emails, instant messaging, chat rooms, discussion boards, forums, etc. exactly the kinds of online communications that they are already engaged in.

The solution:  Make guidelines for yourself. 

  • Don't defame or discuss your friends and colleagues behaviour.  
  • Infact don't write anything defamatory
  • Don't write on company time unless you are being paid for it by the company you work for.
  • Identify your blog as Personal or Corporate and add a disclaimer if needed stating that the views offered are your own.
  • Keep confidential information just that, confidential.
  • Don't reveal any personal, or trade secrets.
  • Treat all comments with respect.  Even the negative ones.

Now that you have a guideline in place.  Keep on Blogging.

Dog Brindle


Anonymous said...

Good guidelines, Mike. One of them, though, is probably hard to adhere to: "Infact don't write anything defamatory." It seems that your posts about Muslims and that crazy animal-killing woman were certainly defamatory. I didn't mind them, but they sure stand out in contrast to the defamatory guideline. What do you think?

Blog Stance said...

This was a great post. This could help a lot of people who are thinking about blogging.